Levytska, Sofiia

Image - Sofiia Levytska: Mediterranean Landscape (1914). Image - Sofiia Levytska: Portrait of a Young Lady. Image - Sofiia Levytska: An Orchard.

Levytska, Sofiia [Левицька Софія; Levyc’ka, Sofija], b 9 March 1874 in Vykhylivka, Proskuriv county, Podilia gubernia, d 20 September 1937 in Paris. Painter, woodcut artist, and translator; sister of Modest Levytsky. She studied at L'Ecole des beaux arts in Paris (1905) and exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Indépendants and Salon d'Automne, of which she became a member in 1910. She was close to the cubists, and her painting White Rhinoceros in the Garden of Eden (1911) attracted the attention of G. Apollinaire. In 1912 she exhibited with the Section d'Or together with Alexander Archipenko and held her first individual exhibition in the Galerie Weil. Her translation into French of Nikolai Gogol's Evenings on a Farm near Dykanka, illustrated with her own woodcuts, was published in 1921. Her artistic salon in Paris attracted the elite of French artists and writers, among them R. and J. Dufy, D. de Segonzac, P. Valéry, and E. Bernard. Her large-scale compositions with genre scenes—eg, Harvesting Grapes, The Girl on Horseback, Clowns, Church in Vence—are painted in a postimpressionist style typical of the L'Ecole de Paris. She did ornamental woodcuts for the collector's edition of P. Valéry's Le Serpent (1925) and illustrations for La Chronique de Joinville, G. de Louche's Le Jardinet, and Paris editions of La Revue musicale. Her graphic work was exhibited many times in France and at Ukrainian group exhibitions in Paris, Lviv, Berlin, Prague, Warsaw, and Rome. A posthumous exhibition of her works was held in Paris in 1938. A study of the artist by Volodymyr Popovych appeared in the Ukrainian Art Digest, no. 7 (1968).

Sviatoslav Hordynsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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